The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: October 2006

New deployment directions

1 October 2006

Enterprise applications today need to be web-enabled and offer ­mobility. Corporate in-house ­developers or software houses ­therefore must develop applications that fulfil these new demands, or convert their existing applications.
“Cost and security concerns have led to increasing customer demand for web-enabled applications,” says Aad van Schetsen, worldwide Uniface sales director of Compuware. “Client-server applications require powerful PCs ­located wherever the application is needed. Roll-out and implementation can be costly. Web applications ­enable centralised software deployment and all the user requires is a browser.
Aad van Schetsen, worldwide Uniface sales director of Compuware
Aad van Schetsen, worldwide Uniface sales director of Compuware
“Security risks associated with web-enabled applications are also ­reduced as applications are centralised behind a firewall.”
This demand for rich Internet ­applications (RIAs) has led many ­developers to investigate AJAX-based web applications. AJAX is a ­relatively new global architecture standard, combining web-enablement with the rich user ­interfaces traditionally only associated with client-server applications.
AJAX enables easy accessibility, uses low bandwidth, and gives a very much better user experience than ­traditional web applications – which usually feature pitiful interfaces. In the past, applications often had to rely on Java, resulting in performance ­issues. As AJAX is XML- and browser-based, plug-ins are unnecessary. This results in significant ­performance advantages and far ­better user experience compared to normal web applications.
Mobile devices have started to play an increasingly important role in ­businesses, and will continue to do so.
“Companies can improve ­productivity by offering the option of running part of any business ­application on mobile devices,” says van Schetsen. “This can also lead to cost savings, improved data accuracy, and the ability for businesses to react more quickly to a fast-changing ­business environment. Mobility also offers employees more options for flexible working conditions.”
Mobile applications should feature the facility for automatic data ­updating once the worker returns with his mobile device to within the ­wireless office environment. The Uniface ­Application Platform Suite (APS) is Compuware’s development environment for building, renewing and ­integrating enterprise applications. Offering high developer productivity and leading-edge functionality, Uniface helps IT organisations reduce the cost of ownership for business-critical applications and increase the return on investment for the IT budget.
Compuware is on target to release the new version (9) of this application suite in December 2006. This will allow developers to develop new web-enabled applications, or move existing applications to the Web, thus taking applications to the next level without major re-development. Uniface APS 9 will also enable mobile versions of business applications, ­operating on Windows Mobile. It will also be the first tool in its space to offer full support for Window Vista.
For more information contact Compuware Corporation SA, +27 (0) 11 516 2900.

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